26 February 2010

We hit the beach

A man with a mission.

Sun was out, kids off school on holiday, we had breakfast and then off we went to the beach. The two girls were on their own bikes and my 3 year old had the luxury of the back of the Yuba to himself, and his little blue bike roped down. He managed about 2 km on his own before asking to climb back on board...

They wanted to jump into the waves, but this is february I explained so we played in the sand all afternoon in the sun. I think they realised how cold the water was when they saw a young couple enter and then exit the water rather rapidly at one point.

A sandwich stop and drink top up at a new organic supermarket (no bike rack though !) by the side of the cycle path and off we went back home.

I now have an escort of two little girls up front on the cycle path, talk about VIP transport ! This was also the first time Lucie rode by herself to the beach and back, 36 km... not too long ago she was a pedestrian ! Now the first thing she asks me in the morning is if we can cycle to the beach.

At home in time for tea...

23 February 2010

Clamp seat, new bridge, horses and poverty camps..

Schools out ! Time to test the new child seat that clamps with a vice action onto the back of the Yuba Mundo. Initially not a sure bet because the rear rack is 18 cm wide, which is wide, but I measured it all before buying and it fits great. There is also a strap to tie it down to the rack.

The bike is now a three seater, rather than a four previously, but the girls are now increasingly mobile.

Above is a stretch of road that had a cycle path that we use running along side it, which has now been blocked off to cars. This is because they have built a bridge across it and over the river. We are now free to pedal car free where the road was pretty dangerous before, which is really cool. Cyclists have a special tunnel under the start of the bridge to the cycle path on the other side that goes all the way to the sea. There are even cycle lanes on the bridge leading into town.

Brand spanking new, we are spoilt...

Traditional get your fingers bitten stop off...

At two points on our route down by the waterline we came across what I initially thought were dumps put upon closer inspection turned out to be habitations made out of cardboard and garbage. Three families live here.

This is something that I have never seen in my region or country before. Last autumn in the capital I had been shocked to see the same thing but on a grander scale by the side of the highway, way out on the way into the city. I thought it was people picking through a dump, but they were living there...

Here, before, the unemployed, the poor, the old, the sick, hapless immigrants, mental patients and missfits were looked after by the state. We pay the same taxes, but for more and more people in need this is not happening anymore. The priority contrast between the new multimillion bridge (and cycle tunnel) to relieve traffic congestion for business/tourism and the people leaving in cardboard huts with children (we had close to freezing for days last week) is new and to my eyes unacceptable.